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UNITAR Online Catalogue

Multilateral Trade Negotiations: Tips and Techniques (2022)


24 Oct 2022
5 Weeks
Programme Area
Public Finance and Trade
Event Focal Point Email


Prior to the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations, which were concluded in December 1993, multilateral trade negotiations were seen as a preserve of the developed countries and the developing countries have only a marginal role to play in the negotiation process; they were primarily the recipients of preferential market access and other special differential treatment. Since the Uruguay Round, although the developing countries have been actively involved in the negotiation process, they face serious challenges in keeping pace with the growing area of international trade law. Their role in the negotiation process is limited due to certain imbalances in their negotiation preparedness, structures and outcomes. Negotiators from developing countries face serious challenges to catch up and keep pace with, and even to influence the scope and outcome of negotiations that serve the best interests of their countries.

This course aims to assist the negotiators and government officials of developing and least-developed countries in their preparations for future multilateral trade negotiations. The course will enhance their knowledge and disseminate information about various trade negotiation skills and techniques, which will enable them to better prepare for future multilateral trade negotiations, become ‘well-informed’ and fully benefit from their participation by becoming equal partners in the negotiating process. The course will provide a comprehensive overview of the concept of negotiations, background and special characteristics of multilateral trade negotiations in the WTO and how to strategically prepare and plan in conducting successful negotiations. It will also help participants gain greater insight into various negotiation issues currently involved in different WTO Agreements.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, the participants should be able to:

  • Differentiate between bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations;
  • Illustrate how multilateral trade negotiations in the WTO are done;
  • Examine the problems faced by both the developing and the least developed countries as regards multilateral negotiations;
  • Formulate a sound negotiation strategy;
  • Analyze the significance of data required for a multilateral trade negotiation; and
  • Assess various issues that may arise during negotiation processes related to WTO Agreements such as agriculture, sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS), technical barriers to trade (TBT), trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS), and trade in services.

Content and Structure

The course consists of the following modules:

  • Module I – The Concept of Trade Negotiations: An Overview
  • Module II – General Introduction to WTO Negotiations
  • Module III – Multilateral Trade Negotiations: Strategic Planning and Preparation
  • Module IV – Information Requirements in a Negotiation Process
  • Module V – Negotiating Issues in Different WTO Agreements


In order to ensure the best possible outreach, the course will be delivered through e-learning. Through a multiple-instructional setting, the goal is to achieve the learning objectives by means of learning technologies that match personal learning styles and by the inclusion of non-linear learning that aims at the development of just-in-time skills of adult learners. At the same time, in order to allow participants maximum flexibility of scheduling , the learning will be conducted in an asynchronous manner. Using a state-of-the-art training architecture, UNITAR will combine self-learning with assessments and online discussions. The pedagogy - adapted specifically to professionals in full-time work - will help train participants through various experiences: absorb (read); do (activity); interact (socialize); reflect (relate to one’s own reality).

Targeted Audience

This foundation course is designed for government officials, trade experts, government lawyers and negotiators who serve their government in regional or international trade negotiations. The course is beneficial for all other participants including policy advocates, academics, researchers, and the members from the wider public, who are interested in learning about the structuring and negotiating of multilateral trade agreements.

Additional Information

A certificate of completion will be issued by UNITAR to all participants who complete the course-related assignments and assessments successfully. Course schedule is subject to change. Course fee is non-refundable but transferrable to another course or participant and subject to change as per UNITAR's policy on pricing.

Recommended hardware and software requirements for taking our e-learning courses:

  • Platform: Windows XP sp3, Vista sp2, Windows 7 sp1, MacOS X.
  • Hardware: 2 GB of RAM and higher for Vista and Windows 7.
  • Software: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint and Adobe Acrobat Reader (downloadable for free at
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 8 or higher; Mozilla Firefox 8 or higher.
  • Internet connection: 128kbps and higher.
  • Note: JavaScript, pop-ups & cookies must be enabled.